I’ve always been a girl’s girl.
I’m not talking about being a girly girl – but rather a girl who has always had great girlfriends, who easily compliments and sees the great in other women, who abided by the unspoken “girl code” single, and who saw girls, and later women, as alliance potential – not as competition.
I’ve also come to learn that this isn’t everyone.
No judgement – just my opinion
I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been able to befriend and nurture female relationships my whole life. I’ve made meaningful female friendships at different stages in my life that have withstood the test of time. And some of my best friendships were created after I was 30.
There’s an unspoken camaraderie, positivity, and support when two women are of the same mindset. I’ve found that this is very important to me. The older and busier I get, and the more complicated life gets, the more I value the ability to be authentically myself with another woman.
For me, this means representing myself and my truth. That’s not really as deep as it sounds. It means that life is more than a social media feed full of photos that show how #blessed I am and the happy times. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so very grateful for my family and all that I’ve been afforded in life. But come on now: shit is hard sometimes! Marriage is work. Raising kids is wonderful, but it can also be frustrating. Add a career to the mix and life is plain exhausting at times. Watching your parents age and battle sickness is heartbreaking, compounding the stress and exhaustion.
One way to help ease stress is to be yourself. Showing up humbly, admitting my faults and not knowing it all, is just in my DNA. But I’m also aware that this type of candor doesn’t come naturally to everyone. I know many who are driven by ego, and probably are afraid of looking weak. I’ve found that vulnerability has come easier with age. And with that, I’ve learned that vulnerability, honesty, and authenticity are not only disarming, but are valuable connection points. We all have a yearning on some level to say “yes – I feel the same way!”
My friendships have grown, and changed, with marriages, children, and careers. If we are lucky—as I have been—we find a gem or two in these different phases of life. While making meaningful connections has come easy to me, making time to maintain the friendship takes intentionality and work. My friend, Lisa, excels at this. We may see each other only two to four times a year, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ll get a funny meme sent to me that says, “this made me think of you!” And every time I receive one, I think about how thoughtful she is and how I need to do just little things like this to keep the embers of a friendship burning.
Working remotely, Facetime and the power of virtual connection has changed the landscape for me as well. Some of the relationships I have formed are with people that I’ve never even met in person. I think about this often, and certainly reflected on it through the pandemic. One of the greatest things to come out of the pandemic is that people are more likely to find new or unique ways to connect. Connection doesn’t have to be over a cup of coffee at your neighborhood coffee shop. It can be a Zoom call, a text, or even just a relationship online. But I have learned that you must show up and put yourself out there, as your authentic self. When you do, the rewards are tenfold.
To find women like you, check out Fizz’s private and free online community The Bubbles Up Club. This is a great place to start.